Humankind's Purpose in Life10/17
Humankind's Purpose in Life 1 raises the question: Is there a need for you to identify a purpose in life? The answer to this question is clear. You need a purpose in life to give meaningfulness to your daily being. You need one to provide direction for your daily acts of conduct. And finally, you need a purpose in life to realize the good life.
What is humankind's purpose in life? Many philosophical writings have proposed varying answers to this provocative question. However, it seems a universally agreed upon purpose for life, for all humankind, has not materialized. This is difficult to accept, in view of the fact Aristotle's insightful reasoning regarding humankind's purpose in life is so convincing. In Nichomachean Ethics, Aristotle puts forth the criteria needed to accept the proposition: Humankind's Purpose in Life is to consummate a state of Happiness.
Aristotle goes on to explain that humankind's purpose in life must be Universal, so it can be acceptable to all people. This means it must be credulous to all cultures, denominations, and races. And it must have no philosophical conflicts with any devotional convictions. He also proposes mankind's purpose in life must be Intellectually Infinite. That is to say it must be a subjective state of mind that is everlasting. It must have a self-conscious potential that is endless. It must be a cognitive condition, feeling, or emotion that is omnipresent. It must be that part of your soul2. Moreover, you must be able to pursue your purpose in life, every day of your life, and into eternity.
Therefore, your purpose in life cannot be some select transient goal, such as to graduate from high school, earn a college degree, be free of debt, marry and have children, pay off a home-mortgage, or become a millionaire. These may be noble objectives from some people; however, others may not share the same desire to seek these specific goals. Consequently, select transient goals do not meet the criteria of Universality.
Moreover, select transient goals do not meet the criteria of being Intellectually- Infinite, because transient goals are short-lived achievements and only bring about a passing or fading state of fulfillment. For example, a goal of completing a college degree cannot be considered an ultimate purpose in life, because after graduation, there would be no subsequent purpose in life. Therefore, it seems clear, achieving personal temporary goals cannot serve as humankind's purpose in life.
In regard to identifying a relevant purpose in life, Aristotle proposes that Happiness meets the criteria of Universality, because as Aristotle proclaims, no one objects to being happy. Moreover, Aristotle proposes Happiness also meets the criteria of Intellectual infiniteness, because Happiness is surely an abstract state that can be strived for everlastingly, and it is truly an enduring end prevailing throughout our life and transcending into eternity. In summary, Aristotle's convincing arguments validates that Humankind's Purpose in Life is to consummate a state of Happiness.
Characteristics of Happiness
The term Happiness was conceptualized by Aristotle some 2500 years ago. Aristotle describes Happiness in ethical terms: as the highest good for all Humankind, as the ultimate purpose in life, and as the basic motive for everything you do.
Happiness is a state of mind. It is a mindful state of excellence. It is the uppermost quality of feeling good about yourself. It is the consciousness about feeling fulfilled.
As an "End"
Happiness is an "end in itself." It is desired for its own sake. It is the basic motive for everything you do in life. It is the chief end of all human action.
Never Underestimate Happiness
The term Happiness must never be taken lightly. It is far more than the colloquial expressions: Happy Birthday, Happy Holiday, Happy-Go- Lucky ... Happiness is a telling term far beyond these everyday expressions.
Happiness vs. Pleasure
Happiness differs from pleasure. Happiness is an "end." Pleasure is a means to an end. For example, you receive pleasure from eating tasty foods, but that is not an end. The end is the happiness you experience from eating tasty-healthy foods and fulfilling your nutritional needs. A person who gives his live over to eating only for pleasure is beastly and has done nothing to distinguish himself from animals; he is a "pleasure-seeker." Happiness is a higher good than that!
Happiness is not in conflict with Divine Decree or any denominational covenant. Divine Decree, actually, supports the ethical values compelling a state of happiness.
Happiness Not Endowed
Happiness is not in-born. It must be acquired. You acquire Happiness by practicing virtuous acts of conduct.
An Inalienable Right
No one can deny your right to pursue and experience a state of happiness. Happiness is a universal good and an inalienable right of all humans.
Happiness: Humankind's Purpose in Life
Finding Happiness is a fulfilling and beneficent purpose in life
1. This presentation may include select, unfamiliar terms and concepts that need to be approached with patient deliberation in order to appreciate their relevancy.
2. Soul, as defined herein, may be considered that part of the intellect pertaining to moral decision-making that is eternal.